Workers Have A Right To Be Safe

W
Wiggin

Contributor

Wiggin
The amendment came into force on 31 May 2021 and applies to acts (or the last in a series of acts) which occur on or after that date.
UK Employment and HR
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Following the Independent Workers' Union's successful challenge of the UK's implementation of the Health and Safety Framework Directive (which we reported in  December's edition of Worked Up), the Employment Rights Act 1996 has now been amended so that workers, as well as employees, have the right not to be subjected to a detriment in certain health and safety cases.

All workers who reasonably believe that there is a serious and imminent danger at work now have the right to take appropriate steps to protect themselves or others (including not attending work) without being subjected to a detriment for taking such action. The amendment came into force on 31 May 2021 and applies to acts (or the last in a series of acts) which occur on or after that date.

This is clearly very topical given the workplace health and safety concerns which continue to be prevalent as a result of Covid-19, particularly given the large number of freelancers working in the media industries that benefit from worker status. All employers should take note though, especially as many continue to accelerate their plans for a return to the office or workplace in some capacity post-Covid.

Health and safety considerations therefore remain critically important and businesses should tread carefully when dealing with any employees or workers who raise concerns about returning to the workplace. Care should be taken to ensure such individuals aren't subjected to a detriment (e.g. dismissed or having their pay reduced) as a result of raising such concerns or taking action linked to these concerns.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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